Every 13 minutes someone takes their life from suicide – and we often don’t talk about it, or the mental illness that nearly 1 in 5 Americans struggle against. In my own life, I have known four people who have taken their lives, and another half dozen that have attempted. My guess is there are more but they’ve never let me know, for which I don’t blame them. We often don’t want to talk about suicide.

What do those numbers look like for you? Have you known anyone who’s faced suicide?

And for me, I know that there are warning signs: Withdrawal, Changes in sleep, Excessive drinking, Saying goodbye, Giving stuff away, Talking or writing about wanting to die, Feeling hopeless, or Talking about being a burden, just to name a few. But I only know these because I learned them too late.

Which is why we are inviting the Kim Foundation to come to First Lutheran, April 23rd.

They are an organization focused on increasing awareness related to mental illness and suicide and they strive to break down the stigma often associated with seeking mental health care. They work to assure individuals and families touched by mental illness and/or suicide that they are not alone on their journey to recovery.

So that first Sunday after Easter, we’ll focus on mental illness and the signs around suicide, as well as resources for those who might need help and resources for those who might need healing. Come listen for yourself, or come listen for a friend. April 23rd.  9:30AM. Know the signs, know what to look for, and ways to get help.  These are some of the great resources we have for awareness and healing in Christ! Make an effort to be here because it’s conversations like these that save lives.

-Pastor David